The Cotswolds offer many trails and paths across enchanting valleys, over rolling hills and through picturesque villages. From charming woodland walks to serene canal walks and arresting walks along the Cotswold Way, the Cotswolds cater for every mood and fancy.
If you’re looking for a Sunday stroll, a pub walk or an escape to the beautiful English countryside, I’ve compiled the 5 best Cotswold walks near Stroud. From the classic Cotswold Way walk across Selsley Common to the Woodchester Park woodland walk, all suggested walks will let you explore the striking scenery of the Cotswolds.
1. Coaley Peak to Selsley Common classic walk
Location: Nympsfield & Selsley
Walk difficulty: Intermediate, with short but steep ascents
Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours
Distance: Approx. 7 miles
Recommended pub: The Bell Inn in Selsley (15 min. walk from Selsley Common)
I couldn’t compile top walks in the Cotswolds without including a walk along the Cotswold Way. Spanning from Bath to Chipping Campden, the Cotswold Way is a well-known national trail which explores the beautiful Cotswold countryside.
The Cotswold Way section near Stroud I would recommend is from Coaley Peak to Selsley Common. This section offers the best the Cotswold Way has to offer from stunning viewpoints to peaceful woodland and wild landscapes. If you wish, you can enjoy a shorter version of the walk and only explore Stanley and Pen Woods or Selsley Common.
The Coaley Peak to Selsley Common walk first explores the Coaley Peak escarpment and its glorious views of the Cotswold hills, the Severn Vale, the Brecon Beacons and Wales. The walk then escapes to a peaceful woodland and descends to the bottom of an enchanting valley, offering further striking scenery. The Cotswold walk then climbs back up to the escarpment and the wild landscape of Selsley Common.
Find the Coaley Peak to Selsley Common walk guide.
2. Bisley-with-Lypiatt country walk
Walk difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours
Distance: 6 miles (9.6 km)
Recommended pub: The Bear Inn in Bisley
The Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk is another top Cotswold walk near Stroud. From enchanting valleys, bountiful hills, lush woods and breathtaking views, this circular walk features the best of the Cotswolds. The walk is, in my opinion, one of the best walks to discover the Cotswold Hills and offers the perfect country escape.
The Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk starts from Bisley, one of the many picturesque Cotswold villages. The walk takes you through lush fields, sun-kissed meadows and blooming woodland, and along charming country lanes. Throughout the circular walk, you’ll enjoy striking views of the Cotswold Hills, the South West countryside and the Bristol Channel. Back in Bisley, you can indulge in well-deserved refreshments at the pub, The Bear Inn.
Find the Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk guide.
3. Woodchester Park woodland walk
Location: Woodchester Park, Nympsfield
Walk difficulty: Easy
Time: 1 to 3 hours depending on the walk trail
Recommended pub: Rose & Crown in Nympsfield (15 min. walk from Woodchester Park car park)
An 18th and 19th century landscape park, Woodchester Park is nested in a wooded valley and offers an enchanting woodland walk. The park features a majestic but unfinished Victorian mansion, five man-made lakes, a boathouse and lush woods. You can easily imagine the 18th century park as it was back then, with its horse-drawn carriages, leisurely walks, lavish picnics and rowing boat trips.
Woodchester Park presents many paths through its woodland and pastures, and along its lakes. Walking along the serene paths, you can escape the world and all your worries. You can choose between the different circular walks marked out by the National Trust, ranging from 1 to 3 hours long. All you need to do is follow the signposts. Most of the paths are paved, but the trails can get muddy in wet weather.
For more information, visit nationaltrust.org.uk. The entrance to the park is free, but you need to pay for the car park.
4. Wysis Way canal walk
Location: Sapperton & Frampton Mansell
Walk difficulty: Easy
Time: 1 ½ to 2 hours
Distance: Approx. 4.4 miles (7 km)
Recommended pub: The Bell in Sapperton
The Wysis Way is a 52-mile-long national trail linking the Forest of Dean to the Cotswolds. The Wysis Way runs north of Stroud into the Chalford Valley. The section near Stroud I would recommend is between Sapperton and Frampton Mansell. This section offers a delightful canal walk.
From Sapperton to Frampton Mansell, the Wysis Way follows the old Thames and Severn Canal, now overgrown with water plants. The path leads you along the canal banks and through Siccaridge Wood. Surrounded by serene woodland and catching quick glimpses of green fields, the canal walk offers a true escape to enchanting woods.
Wysis Way walk itinerary
This section of the Wysis Way trail starts on Church Lane in Sapperton. Follow the Wysis Way sign pointing down steps and take the small lane to the left of the school. The path will lead you down a field into the woods and along the canal. From there, just follow the signposts and the path. Once you reach the road bridge in Frampton Mansell, walk back to Sapperton the way you came.
On the way back when you reach the Daneway Inn pub, don’t follow the sign for the Wysis Way and cross the small bridge over the river, but continue straight ahead to the back of the pub car park where the trail continues. The path is mostly paved, but some part of the trail can get muddy in wet weather.
5. Uley & Uley Bury viewpoint walk
Walk difficulty: Intermediate, with a steep ascent and descent
Time: 1 ½ hours
Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)
Recommended pub: The Old Crown Inn in Uley
Another top walk in the Cotswold Hills near Stroud is the Uley and Uley Bury walk. Starting from the picturesque Cotswold village of Uley, the circular walk leads you to the hill fort of Uley Bury. From there, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the quaint village, enchanting valleys, the surrounding Cotswold hills, the Severn Valley and South Wales.
The Uley and Uley Bury walk is one of the shorter walks, but don’t be fooled by the short distance, the ascent and descent to and from the hill fort is very steep. The walk leads you along serene country paths, through lush woodland and verdant fields. You’ll enjoy stunning scenery throughout. You can even finish the walk in Uley’s pub, The Old Crown, for well-deserved refreshments.
Find the Uley and Uley Bury walk guide.
Explore more: Walks in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds countryside features countless walks across enchanting valleys, over lush rolling hills and through picturesque villages. From the north of the Cotswolds to the south, escape to the beautiful English countryside with the Cotswold walk guides.